A Word for the Men
From Craig Day
Co-founder of Caleb Ministries
The instant I learned that our son Caleb’s heart was not beating, I prayed for God to make Caleb’s heart beat again. I knew the God I served was able to bring the dead back to life cf. John 11:1-14 (Lazarus). I prayed this not selfishly, but out of a strong desire to let God know I trusted and had faith in Him as the giver and taker of life.
‘See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand. Deuteronomy 32:39 (NASB95)
When I realized Caleb’s heart was not to beat again, my next thought and concern was for Sandy. I needed to be a strong support for her spiritually, mentally and emotionally, (Romans 12:15). I also needed to acknowledge the many thoughts I had to process and the emotions I sensed, (I Peter 5:7). It has been said, “Emotions are to the soul what your physical feelings are to your body.” God created us in His image and our emotions and feelings come from our thoughts and attitudes. What we are thinking determines what we “feel.” We need to acknowledge our thoughts before God and discern if they are coming from right thinking. Because if they are not righteous thoughts we need to reject them. Once you have discerned your thoughts and/or your wife’s thoughts as truth-based and not self-based then you can help yourself and your wife to grieve with godly hope.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep (dead), so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 (NASB95)
Lastly, you can share with those who care and are close to you in your grief about how you are processing your grief biblically. That way your grief will not get bottled up and ignored and then those around you can pray for your grief pain specifically.
Men, I exhort you in the name of the Lord Jesus-be a Biblically emotionally supportive husband for your wives! And be emotionally honest before God and others. Satan says, “keep it in, you can handle this.” God says, ”Let it out, I need to help you through this.”
Here are 3 actions you can take to stay strong and supportive for your wife:
Acknowledge to God you and your wife’s pains from the loss.
Confess to God any wrong thoughts of doubt, anger, or self-pity in your grief.
Express to God how you feel verbally in your prayers as a lament to Him.
Books to Read
- “The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness” by John MacArthur
- “Where is God When it Hurts?” by Philip Yancey
- “The Power of Suffering” by John MacArthur
- “For Those who Hurt” by Chuck Swindoll
A Brief Life?
A Tribute to James Caleb Day, February 15, 1988
“A brief life is not an insignificant life.” These are words that Sandy and I received through all the cards and letters we received after the stillborn birth of our firstborn son James Caleb Day. They are words that have deep meanings.
A brief life can still be significant. How so? When your child never gets a chance to have his first breath here on earth, but takes his first in heaven, how could his life be significant? It’s all answered in how you measure significance. It is in the amount of time you spend here on earth or how you live your life? I think it’s the latter.
The pain in the loss of a child is so deep you wonder about the meaning of life. Are we here to just “eat, drink, and be merry?” Or are we here for a specific purpose? God created all of us for the specific purpose of glorifying Him through our lives. Caleb lived eight months in Sandy’s womb. That was his life. He was perfectly formed and created. Yet, God saw it fit to take him directly to heaven, sparing him the curse of this world. Does that mean he lived less of a life? No! His life was full and complete; just as God had planned from the beginning.
Our hearts grieved the earthly loss of our son, fully trusting God as sovereign. Apart from the knowledge of His plan for our lives we have no hope. Life would be meaningless and void of purpose. “Now faith is the assurance of things not seen.” Faith is believing what you can’t see – trusting that the Hand of God is moving in your life for your good and His glory. It took faith for Sandy and I to seek God’s purpose in Caleb’s death.
The pain does not fully go away with a loss but God’s healing purposes are revealed as time passes on. Sandy and I could never have imagined what God would do in our lives and the lives of countless of others through the death of our son; but we could be confident that God was working it out perfectly. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Job responded to his wife’s plea for him to “Curse God and die!” saying “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?”
God identified with us through His Son Jesus Christ who bore all of our sins and humanity. He knows all of the emotions of loss that you and I have experienced. God saw His only Son die on the cross, the most painful of deaths. He knows our pain, yet there is reassuring hope – resurrection day. On the day the dead in Christ shall rise and we who are alive in Christ at that time will meet Him in the air and be with Him forever. All of our pains and joys will be complete. We shall see Him as he is in all of His glory. We shall see, and be with forever, all those whom you and I loved, who trusted in Jesus Christ and those who have joined Him before us.
You see, life is significant if we live in the light of God’s truths. Even a brief life is not an insignificant life.
I love you Caleb!
Craig Day’s Bio
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Craig was born in 1957 in Augusta, Georgia and grew up in Pelion, S.C. In 1974 Craig moved to Charlotte and graduated in 1975 from Garinger High School. In 1982 he attended Calvary Church for the first time. His mother had invited him to go to the Singles group there on an August Saturday night. The group was watching a film the night he went and from the very first moment of attendance he felt the love and acceptance of the Christians there. He heard the gospel from the Word of God and God used that to convict him of his sin. He continued to go to the Singles group wanting more and more of the teaching and friendships he enjoyed there. He became a Christian two months later in October of 1982 after he repented of his sin and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Craig met his wife Sandy in the Singles group and they were married on May 4th of 1985. They stayed involved at Calvary and in 1988 they were expecting their first child and he was stillborn on February 15, 1988. This loss and the ensuing pain of grief gave rise to the ministry they founded in 1990. Caleb Ministrieswas named after their firstborn son James Caleb Day to help families that experience stillbirths, miscarriage, infertility, early infant deaths, and now includes help for post-abortive women. They eventually had another son, Corey, in 1989 and today he is involved in competitive swimming at the college level.
In 1998 Craig was accepted at The Master’s Seminary located in Sun Valley, California to earn his Masters of Divinity degree. The Master’s Seminary was founded by Dr. John MacArthur, Jr. whose radio ministry is “Grace to You.” The Day’s moved to California in the fall of 1999 for Craig to study expository preaching and counseling. Craig graduated in May of 2002 with a M.Div degree and is an ordained minister. In 2004 he was certified as a Biblical counselor with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (formerly N.A.N.C. the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors). 2009 brought about the birth of Caleb Counseling, a ministry to equip individuals, couples, and the local church to walk in the doctrinally practical truths set forth in the Scriptures. Contact Craig.
Craig and Sandy are church members at Parkwood.
Colossians 1:28 provides the purpose for the church of Jesus Christ which is to, “proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28)